Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Chinese Dust Found Atop French Alps

16.05.2003


Dust Storm over China’s Taklimakan Desert, on April 14, 2002, from the MODIS Instrument on NASA’s Terra Satellite


Dust from China’s Takla-Makan desert traveled more than 20,000 kilometers [12,000 miles] in about two weeks, crossing the Pacific Ocean, North America, and the Atlantic Ocean, before settling atop the French Alps. Chinese dust plumes had been known to reach North America and even Greenland, but had never before been reported in Europe.

An international team of scientists, using atmospheric computer models, studied dust that traveled the globe from February 25 to March 7, 1990. Their findings are published in a paper authored by Francis E. Grousset of Columbia University’s Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory in Palisades, New York, and the University of Bordeaux I in France, and colleagues. It appears in Geophysical Research Letters, published by the American Geophysical Union.

Research conducted in 1994 showed that over the 20 preceding years, a score of red dust events coated the snow cover in the Alps and Pyrenees mountains. The dust that topped these European mountain ranges was sampled and stored for comparison with dust from various parts of the world. Scientists analyze the minerals and composition of certain distinctive elements of the dust, especially neodymium, to determine its origin.



The researchers used the Global Ozone Chemistry Aerosol Radiation Transport (GOCART) model, which analyzes wind, soil moisture, and surface characteristics to simulate the generation and transport of dust. Meteorological information was taken from the NASA Goddard Earth Observing System Data Assimilation System (GEOS DAS). The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) Air Resources Laboratory (ARL) showed the paths of air masses as they moved around the world from the time the dust was swept into the atmosphere to the time it settled on the mountaintops.

Grousset and his colleagues found several examples of dust collected in southern France that clearly originated from North African sources. The North Africa-to-Europe dust path was already well known. But data analyzed by the NASA and NOAA instruments independently of each other strongly suggested that some of the Alpine dust originated in a huge dust storm in western China, whose transport across two oceans and the North American continent to Europe had not previously been documented.

The origin and final location of dust are important to help determine any effects from heavy metal or fungal, bacterial, or viral pollution that may be associated with it. Previous studies have indicated, for example, that fungi found in African dust causes Sea Fan disease in Mediterranean coral reefs. The National Institute of Health’s National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases has identified airborne dust as the primary source of allergic stress worldwide.

The research was funded mainly by France’s National Center for Scientific Research (CNRS). Additional support was provided by NASA and the National Science Foundation (NSF).

Harvey Leifert, Rob Gutro | AGU / NASA
Further information:
http://www.agu.org/sci_soc/prrl/prrl0311.html
http://www.gsfc.nasa.gov/topstory/2003/0427sandalps.html

More articles from Earth Sciences:

nachricht The Wadden Sea and the Elbe Studied with Zeppelin, Drones and Research Ships
19.09.2017 | Helmholtz-Zentrum Geesthacht - Zentrum für Material- und Küstenforschung

nachricht FotoQuest GO: Citizen science campaign targets land-use change in Austria
19.09.2017 | International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA)

All articles from Earth Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Ultrafast snapshots of relaxing electrons in solids

Using ultrafast flashes of laser and x-ray radiation, scientists at the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics (Garching, Germany) took snapshots of the briefest electron motion inside a solid material to date. The electron motion lasted only 750 billionths of the billionth of a second before it fainted, setting a new record of human capability to capture ultrafast processes inside solids!

When x-rays shine onto solid materials or large molecules, an electron is pushed away from its original place near the nucleus of the atom, leaving a hole...

Im Focus: Quantum Sensors Decipher Magnetic Ordering in a New Semiconducting Material

For the first time, physicists have successfully imaged spiral magnetic ordering in a multiferroic material. These materials are considered highly promising candidates for future data storage media. The researchers were able to prove their findings using unique quantum sensors that were developed at Basel University and that can analyze electromagnetic fields on the nanometer scale. The results – obtained by scientists from the University of Basel’s Department of Physics, the Swiss Nanoscience Institute, the University of Montpellier and several laboratories from University Paris-Saclay – were recently published in the journal Nature.

Multiferroics are materials that simultaneously react to electric and magnetic fields. These two properties are rarely found together, and their combined...

Im Focus: Fast, convenient & standardized: New lab innovation for automated tissue engineering & drug

MBM ScienceBridge GmbH successfully negotiated a license agreement between University Medical Center Göttingen (UMG) and the biotech company Tissue Systems Holding GmbH about commercial use of a multi-well tissue plate for automated and reliable tissue engineering & drug testing.

MBM ScienceBridge GmbH successfully negotiated a license agreement between University Medical Center Göttingen (UMG) and the biotech company Tissue Systems...

Im Focus: Silencing bacteria

HZI researchers pave the way for new agents that render hospital pathogens mute

Pathogenic bacteria are becoming resistant to common antibiotics to an ever increasing degree. One of the most difficult germs is Pseudomonas aeruginosa, a...

Im Focus: Artificial Enzymes for Hydrogen Conversion

Scientists from the MPI for Chemical Energy Conversion report in the first issue of the new journal JOULE.

Cell Press has just released the first issue of Joule, a new journal dedicated to sustainable energy research. In this issue James Birrell, Olaf Rüdiger,...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

“Lasers in Composites Symposium” in Aachen – from Science to Application

19.09.2017 | Event News

I-ESA 2018 – Call for Papers

12.09.2017 | Event News

EMBO at Basel Life, a new conference on current and emerging life science research

06.09.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

“Lasers in Composites Symposium” in Aachen – from Science to Application

19.09.2017 | Event News

New quantum phenomena in graphene superlattices

19.09.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

A simple additive to improve film quality

19.09.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>